December 2020 // The How-to Edition


BOB MURCH Photography Impressions


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1 2 Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? with Vanessa Joy


Rebranding as a Luxury Wedding Business in 2021 with Michael Anthony


How to Shoot in High-Speed Sync with Your Flash with Sal Cincotta


Product Spotlight with the Profoto A10 + New OCF Adapter


Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin with Angela Marklew

Product Spotlight with the Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount 56


How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About with Antwon Maxwell

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How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space with Shannon K Dougherty

One-Light Setups with John Gress

102 1 1 2 124 136 150 168

How to Take a Milky Way Portrait with Rey Benasfre

Signature White Session with Zsa'nee Gaines

How to Find Your Light with Brandon Hunter

Rock Your Styled Shoot with Jewels Gray

4 Steps to Use the Color Grade Tool in Lightroom Classic v10 with Dustin Lucas

Inspirations from Our Readers


The Pandemic Videographer Pivot with Rob Adams


Final Inspiration with Irina Jomir
















P U B L I S H E R S a l C i n c o t t a

E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F A l i s s a C i n c o t t a

D E S I G N E R E l l i e P l o t k i n

C O P Y E D I T O R A l l i s o n B r u b a k e r

Shutter Magazine ’s focus is on photography education. Our goal is to provide current insightful and in-depth educational content for today’s professional wedding and portrait photographer. Shutter uses the latest technologies to deliver information in a way that is relevant to our audience. Our experienced contributors help us create a sense of community and have established the magazine as one of the leading photography publications in the world.


C O N T R I B U T I N G W R I T E R S A n g e l a M a r k l ew A n t wo n M a x we l l B r a n d o n H u n t e r

D u s t i n L u c a s J ewe l s G r a y J o h n G r e s s M i c h a e l A n t h o n y R o b Ad a m s


R e y B e n a s f r e S a l C i n c o t t a S h a n n o n K D o u g h e r t y Va n e s s a J o y Z s a ’ n e e G a i n e s

Shutter Magazine: By photographers, for photographers.

Everyone learns photography in different ways . Some learn by reading , some by watching videos , and some by doing . In this issue, we hope to help you learn in your own way “how to” be a better photographer, a better business owner, and how to grow your craft. - Sal Cincotta


THE COVER TITLE: flower queen PHOTOGRAPHER: miguel quiles, @miguelquilesjr

CAMERA: sony a7riii LENS: sony 100mm 2.8gm stf EXPOSURE: f/11 @ 1/160 iso 100 YOUTUBE:

LIGHTING: profoto d2 inside of amola Euro with diffusion sock, profoto d1 with a beauty dish gridded as a hair light, reflector below for fill MAKEUP/STYLING: stephanie weiss, @stephwef_ HAIR: sandy madanat, @sandy_madanat

ABOUT THE IMAGE: This image was the result of a concept that my makeup artist came up with for my YouTube show “The Look.”

Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? | Vanessa Joy

with Vanessa Joy

Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? | Vanessa Joy

I firmly believe that wedding photographers who don't offer albums are not completing their job. The job of a wedding photographer isn't just to take pictures of the wedding, it's to document the couple's story and then tell that story visually. Everyone has digital devices now and can view digital photos, but there's still something magical about sitting around with the family and sharing photos of grandma and grandpa's wedding from the photo album. It's tangible. It's real. It's a bonding experience that we still haven't been quite able to recreate with digital devices. So now that I've hopefully convinced you that selling albums is a worthwhile endeavor, let me explain to you how to do it so that you can maximize the benefit and experience for both you and the client, while ensuring neither of you drive each other crazy in the process.


It's always a good idea to avoid being overly salesy, but that is especially true in the case of a wedding album. This is going to be a family heirloom for them. You should take the time to show them how an album can tell their story. Although it's an additional expense, most of my clients end up purchasing the album because I've shown them that I care about the stories they will be able to tell more than I care about making the extra money. Your number one goal is to be their guide. Start with that, remember that, and you won’t become a pushy salesperson giving a poor client experience.

Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? | Vanessa Joy


If you've sold an album before, you'll know that clients can take forever to pick pictures. Sometimes it can be years after the wedding and you still haven't gotten the album completed. Part of the reason for this is that clients aren't experts. They don't understand how to tell a story with pictures. So picking the right pictures doesn't come easy for them. This is where it falls on you, as the professional, to understand where the lack of expertise will be a problem and make it easy for them. By pre-designing an album, you'll know exactly which shots are needed and be able to put the album together much quicker without wishy-washy input from the client. By pre-designing the album, you'll also be better equipped to show them exactly how their album will tell their story during the sales process. I actually have a designer that works with me on the album design. It's nice to be able to outsource these things to someone who is really great at weaving a series of pictures into a compelling visual narrative. It provides an extra layer of expertise for my clients and gives me more free time to focus on other tasks. This obviously isn't something you have to do, but if you can find someone with expertise in album design that exceeds your own, it certainly becomes a worthwhile thing to consider.


In order to understand a couple enough to tell their story, you need to understand their relationship style. I give my clients a questionnaire that gives me information about how their relationship works. Are they the romantic type, or more fun and quirky? This is extremely important in getting the couple to open up and pose for shots, but it's also important in determining how the visual narrative depicted in the album will flow. Also, when you are explaining the process and discussing the layout or which photos to keep, using keywords that relate to the couple's relationship style will help them engage and provide better feedback.

I have one other quick tip for using keywords. When customers are looking through the album photos and ask to remove photos, I never sugarcoat the terminology. I won't say “remove” to them the way I just did with you. Nor will I say other nice words like “take away.” I always use the word “delete.” When you ask them if they want to delete a photo, the permanence of it sticks with them and helps guide their decision. They will be getting the digital files, so none of their photos are actually deleted from existence, but they are deleted from the album. This is important because the album is what the family will keep going back to over and over again. They are going to want as many special moments in there as possible.

Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? | Vanessa Joy


Set aside a special time for the album shooting session and get all the shots you need then. This is another area where pre-designing the album will help out immensely, because you'll already have a good idea of the shots you need. These album shooting sessions can take around two to three hours. That may sound like a lot of time, but compare that to the two to three years it could take to finish an album as the couple drags their feet over selecting the photos to use from an improperly planned shoot. I use Fundy album designer to show clients the process of page layout and photo selection. This has a multitude of benefits. The customer will better understand what is going on with the process. They'll understand what it takes to make changes, what looks good and what doesn't, and as a result, you'll find that they request far fewer changes.


Because of my location, I have many clients in Manhattan and New Jersey. These people don't have a lot of wall space, so I'm not trying to sell the giant wall prints that they can't use. Know who your clients are and tailor your sales process to that. Also keep in mind that you can always do a multiple-volume wedding album. Many times, I'll be designing an album for a couple and realize that we have more photos than we do page space because of the typical 100-page limit in albums. I could cut some of the photos from the project, but then the customer misses out and their memories get discarded. Amulti-volume album is the perfect solution here because it allows me to expand beyond the original limitation. Changes like these are key to both you and the client getting the best out of the relationship and keeping the most of their memories.

Do You Need to Sell Printed Products as a Photographer? | Vanessa Joy


Too many wedding photographers make the mistake of thinking that the digital era has fully replaced traditional prints. At least for now, that's not the case. There's still a thriving market for wedding albums and other printed products. If you're not making yourself available in that market, then not only are you missing out, but so are your customers. Hopefully, this article has given you something to think about as you plan to include wedding albums in your list of offerings and as part of a sales process afterwards. The advice contained here has certainly helped me exponentially grow my own wedding photography business.

LEARN MORE . Click here or check us out at

Vanessa Joy has been a professional wedding photographer in New Jersey since 2002, and an influencer in the photographic community for years. Since starting in 2008, she has taught photographers around the globe at almost every major platform in the industry ( Vanessa has been recognized for her talent and business sense at the renowned industry events CreativeLIVE, Clickin’ Moms, WPPI and ShutterFest. Her peers love her informative, open-book style of teaching. website: instagram: @vanessajoy

Rebranding as a Luxury Wedding Business in 2021 | Michael Anthony

with Michael Anthony

We made it. It’s December, and for wedding photographers and cinematographers, this year has been one of the toughest challenges we may ever face. The pandemic shut down our businesses, and even as I write this, some of the best markets such as New York and California have a long road back before we are allowed to operate. The future is unknown. But with such challenges come great opportunities. We all have had areas of our businesses that we wanted to fix. Many of you have known for years that you want to transition to IPS, or that you want to break into the luxury market. This is the time to make the adjustments to restart in 2021. Aquestion I get all the time from photographers and videographers is, “How do we break into the luxury market?” That’s a fair question… but first let’s talk about why you would want to be a luxury wedding photographer.


It’s true that when you shoot luxury weddings, you will often have a lot of beautiful details to photograph. More budget sometimes means large floral arrangements, elaborate venues, intricate reception halls, expensive wedding gowns and exclusive designs by many of the vendors you work with.


Many luxury clients will plan destination weddings that take place throughout the world. Having destination weddings in your portfolio will allow you to create unique images that will intrigue your local clients. Destination weddings are inspiring because you often find yourself in places that are very photographable.


When you break into the destination market, now you have access to exclusive vendor partners. The luxury community is very, very small. Breaking in is tough, even in large markets. But once the high-end vendors see you at multiple events, now they will be a lot more willing to work with you. You will be able to develop relationships with people that you had not had a chance to meet with in the past.


If you had a choice to provide the quality of service you want vs. being unable to go all out on an event because there is not enough profit margin, I am pretty sure you would pick the former. That is the biggest reason why I love luxury weddings. The ability to bring assistants and lighting equipment, and tell the full story through both photo and video allows you to produce an event that both you and your clients will love—as well as the next potential client that sees them.

Rebranding as a Luxury Wedding Business in 2021 | Michael Anthony

So as you can see, there are a lot of reasons to become a luxury wedding photographer. As an artist, staying inspired is incredibly important. But as I said before, the luxury market is HARD to break into. Anytime there is a clique of vendors working together, they don’t look kindly to an outsider, so you have to take a measured approach to breaking into that market.

Here are a few things you have to consider.


The first step to breaking into the luxury market is to find the vendors that could help you propel your business. Find the businesses you want to work with. Make a list in an Excel spreadsheet. Try to find 100 different vendors you want to work with. You can find these vendors on directories or by calling the high-end venues and asking who their preferred wedding vendors are. Once you have this list created, you will want to refer back to it constantly in your outreach efforts.


First, you are going to want to reach out to the people who are most likely to provide you new business. Think about your planners, venues, gown shops, etc. From here you are going to create assets. I recommend getting a magazine made that showcases your higher-end jobs. Show that your style of photography is unique, different, and matches the aesthetic of modern high-end magazines. From here you will want to invest in branded thank you cards, packaging and other assets. You will want to create a package of promotional materials that you will mail out to these vendors. Invest in this part, because presentation is EVERYTHING. If you send a poorly designed magazine printed on crap materials, it is going to reflect negatively on your business, and this technique will hurt you more than it helps, so spend the money on a graphic designer and get this done RIGHT. Now your job is to follow up. You will want to call these businesses and make sure they got your package. You can now extend an opportunity to work together, set up a meeting for lunch, offer to come and photograph their venue or details—remember the goal is to form relationships and to do that you have to understand the rule of reciprocity and give more than you expect to get.


Now that you have made the proper introductions, it’s important to note that you will need a portfolio that looks luxury. The old adage to show what you want to sell could not be more true than it is here… In order to obtain luxury clientele, you need to show shoots that are shot in luxury environments. This will mean that you may need to book some styled shoots, come out of pocket to design elaborate sets, or maybe even attend some group shoots with luxury vendors. Your portfolio is your greatest asset. It’s something that will be with you your entire career, but here is the deal: IT NEEDS TO BE UPDATED constantly. Trends change and the most luxurious weddings are always following trends—so if you are still sitting on 5-year-old images and hoping that they are good enough for today’s trends, it’s time to update your portfolio. In the era of the pandemic, we have a lot of time to spend working on these things. There has never been a better time to reach out to new markets and pursue new opportunities.

Rebranding as a Luxury Wedding Business in 2021 | Michael Anthony


This is the easiest thing for photographers to do that will have the biggest impact after the other steps above are taken. You can’t be a luxury brand if you are not charging luxury prices, period. Hard stop. There is no way around it. One of the first questions that you will be asked when you connect with some of the vendors I listed above is, “What do you charge?” Instinctively you might try to give them the lowest prices possible… That is a huge mistake. There is a strategic advantage to being the most expensive vendor in your area. There is literally no advantage to being the second most expensive. Having a luxury price point will allow you to command more perceived value in your market. If your work follows, you can be sure that you will set the correct expectations of your business. You have to be careful here, because you still need cashflow to operate, so you don’t want to lose too much business. The way we do this is to have a starting price slightly higher than average, and then structure our business to offer a lot more value as clients step up through our packages. This could result in us doubling or tripling our sales numbers throughout the client journey with us, offering more value every single time.

Rebranding as a Luxury Wedding Business in 2021 | Michael Anthony

So for those of you who are considering jumping to the luxury market, these are the first steps that you need to take to be successful. Remember, everything you do from here on out has to be luxury—that includes what you wear to weddings and meetings, and how your client experience is with you at your studio. Having the ability to offer your clients this first-class experience will lead to you attracting first-class clients in the future, and ultimately a much better lifestyle for yourself long term.

LEARN MORE . Click here or check us out at

Michael Anthony is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Michael is a monthly contributor to Shutter Magazine, and has spoken at international conventions including WPPI, Imaging USA, Photoplus Expo, and ShutterFest. Michael is an educator and founder of Elevate Photography Education, a company created to help photographer entrepreneurs achieve their goals and dreams in the photography industry. website: instagram: @michaelanthonyphotography




| How to Shoot in High-Speed Sync with Your Flash with Sal Cincotta | Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin with Angela Marklew | How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About with Antwon Maxwell | How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space with Shannon K Dougherty | One-Light Setups with John Gress | How to Take a Milky Way Portrait with Rey Benasfre | Signature White Session with Zsa’nee Gaines | How to Find Your Light with Brandon Hunter | Rock Your Styled Shoot with Jewels Gray | 4 Steps to Use the Color Grade Tool in Lightroom Classic v10 with Dustin Lucas | Inspirations from Our Readers

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How to Shoot in High-Speed Sync with Your Flash | Sal Cincotta

with Sal Cincotta

with Sal Cincotta

How to Shoot in High-Speed Sync with Your Flash | Sal Cincotta

Want to be a better photographer? There is truly only one way. Practice. We all learn in different ways, but no matter how you learn, you need to put it into practice. So, let’s get into this.


Let’s start with the why. Why would you ever want to shoot in high-speed sync? Well, for starters, we have to understand a little about our cameras and how they work. In order for flash and cameras to work together, they have to be working at the same speed. Think about the light coming from your flash like a car speeding down the highway. Flash is basically traveling at 1/200th of a second. And your shutter, let’s think of it like a toll booth with an automated toll barrier that is opening and closing at 1/200th of a second. So, everything works perfectly as long as your flash and shutter speed are… wait for it… in sync. Hence your sync speed. However, all sorts of chaos happens when your toll barrier is going up and down too quickly. For example, if your toll barrier were to open and close too fast, let’s say 1/4000th of a second, your barrier would hit the car before the car could make it through the toll booth. Your flash and light work the same way. This is why your flash doesn’t seem to work when shooting outside and your shutter speed is in the 1/8000th second, even when you go to your lowest ISO setting. Your only other option is to adjust your aperture, but we all know, no one really wants to shoot portraits at f11 or f16. So, what's a photographer to do? This is why high-speed sync (or HSS) exists. It allows your flash and camera to understand one another and understand the new speed limit, so to speak. One problem is not every flash supports this, so make sure your flash supports HSS. Now, in all fairness, we took a little bit of a detour here as I explained this. The real reason why you need HSS beyond the technical piece is the creative part of this. Typically, when shooting outside during daylight hours, if you want to use flash and shoot at a shallow depth of field, there is no scenario—not even at ISO 50—that you will get your shutter speed below 200th of a second. Instead, you are more likely going to be in the 1/4000th or 1/8000th of a second range. So, let's say you want to shoot at f1.8 or f2 to create some really cool depth of field—this is where you need HSS to shine.

Camera exposed for the scene Settings: 1/1250 @ f7.1 ISO 50

Test shot, no flash Settings: 1/4000 @ f2.8 ISO 50

Test shot, flash Settings: 1/4000 @ f2.8 ISO 50


The mechanics of this are not very difficult.

Step 1. Choose your aperture creatively. For me, I like a really shallow depth of field. I love the way my subject pops off the background. Step 2. Lower your ISO as much as possible. Most Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras support going below ISO 100 to ISO 50. While it might not seem like a big deal at first, you will realize that by lowering your ISO from 100 to 50 to you are making your camera sensor 1-stop less sensitive to light. This is huge for this equation. Let's translate that to your shutter speed. By lowering your ISO by 1 stop it will slow your shutter speed down by 1 stop. So, now your shutter speed will go from 1/8000th of a second to 1/4000th second. Or from 1/4000th second to 1/2000 second. Why is this so important? Because it’s going to change how hard your flash has to work to illuminate your subject. And in this case, we want our flash to work as efficiently as possible. It will help it recycle faster and it will dictate how close or far the flash needs to be from your subject. Step 3. Set your camera, if needed, and your flash and trigger to HSS mode. Every camera and trigger is different. Some automatically adjust, while some require manual changeover. This might be why some of you have struggled outdoors with flash and given up, claiming it’s too hard. You might have to manually adjust your equipment. Refer to your user manual or a quick YouTube search and you will find the answer.

Step 4. Take a test shot. I can’t underscore the importance of this step enough. Your test shot is going to give you a lot of information—most importantly, is there enough light? Your location flash can only put out so much light. So, in order to maximize its effort, you will need to do everything in your power to stop making it work so hard. If you followed Step 2 above, the only other way to make it work less hard is to either stop down on your aperture or move the light closer to your subject and remove the distance the light has to travel. Seeing as we chose our aperture creatively in Step 1, I don’t want to adjust that. So after my test shot, if I have already raised my flash to full power, I will move my light source closer to my subject until I get the amount of light needed to illuminate my subject properly.

Straight out of camera Settings: 1/4000 @ f2.8 ISO 50

Straight out of camera Settings: 1/2500 @ f3.2 ISO 50

Final edited image Settings: 1/2500 @ f3.2 ISO 50

Final edited image Settings: 1/4000 @ f2.8 ISO 50

That's all there is to it. The rest is seasoning to taste, as I like to say. Once you get the hang of it, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. From here you can experiment with all sorts of different lighting modifiers and light placements to get different looks and moods.

Good luck and get out there and practice!

LEARN MORE . Click here or check us out at

Sal Cincotta is an international award-winning photographer, educator, author, Canon Explorer Of Light and the publisher of Shutter Magazine. Sal’s success is directly tied to the education he received in business school. He graduated from Binghamton University, a Top 20 business school, and has worked for Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. After spending 10 years in corporate America, Sal left to pursue a career in photography and has never looked back. website: instagram: @salcincotta

Product Spotlight | Profoto A10 + New OCF Adapter


product spotlight

Why the Profoto A10 + New OCF Adapter?

It’s finally here! Something all Profoto A1 users have been waiting for… the OCF Adapter for the Profoto A1 series of flashes. Now you can use all your Profoto OCF Adapters with the Profoto A1 series line of lighting. In my opinion, this is long overdue. Better late than never. Why is this so important? Now you can control light with all your modifiers vs. using different sets of modifiers for different lights, truly making the Profoto B10 Series and A1 Series—along with their other similar heads—a true lighting system.

I’m excited to finally get to use this in the field and have the ability to shape light, no matter the light source.

LEARN MORE . Click here or check us out at

For more information, visit

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew

with Angela Marklew

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew

I recently tested with a retoucher who was looking to join my team. I gave him an image from a recent test shoot and when he sent back the results, I was a little shocked. He had removed all of the models’ beauty marks and freckles! When I asked him about it, he posited that he wanted to create “flawless” skin. I brought up the fact that I didn’t consider these things “flaws,” but rather attributes that made a person’s face unique and interesting. The point is, different people have varying aesthetics when it comes to retouching. But at the end of the day, my goal is to celebrate my subject’s individual skin tones and textures, which brings me to my retouching process. The first thing to remember is that everyone’s skin texture is different. Not only that, but the skin textures on different parts of the face are also different (for example, the skin under the eyes doesn’t have the same texture as the skin on the forehead). My goal is to keep the integrity of the subject’s skin (both its texture and natural attributes), while making it appear flawless. I’m successful when you look at the final image and don’t think about the retouching.


I do a basic color correction in Lightroom (or Capture One) before exporting to Photoshop, which is where the real work begins. My first step is always Liquify. I mainly use this to give the hair a boost, as well as make minor adjustments to the eyes/catchlights, lip line, etc. This is one of those tools where you definitely need to use restraint as a little goes a long way. The end goal of this step is to make it look like you haven’t done anything at all.

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew


This, along with Step 3, will make up the bulk of the work. There are a number of methods to approach skin retouching. I am an advocate of finding a method that works for you and going with that. For me, that’s frequency separation (FS). Without going into all the technical details (there are plenty of online tutorials for that), FS is basically breaking the image into two layers, one for color/tone and one for texture. In this way, you can adjust the tones in the skin without affecting the texture and vice versa.





Examples of skin retouching using only the FS layers

I like the FS method because I find it to be the route that gives me the most natural results. I start on the texture layer and remove any blemishes (while keeping things inherent to the skin like beauty marks and freckles), then do an initial pass on the color layer to even out the transitions between highlights, midtones and shadows.

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew


For more persistent areas of discoloration (the most common being under the eyes), I’ll select the area to be modified, feather the selection so it has a super soft gradient edge, and then use curves adjustment layers. Not only will I adjust the overall RGB curve, but I’ll open up the individual color channels for a more fine-tuned result. For example, under-eye discoloration can often be fixed by lowering the blue channel and increasing both the red and RGB channels. This applies to any areas of the skin where it looks either too red (mostly happening in the midtones) or too blue (mostly happening in the shadows). For any areas that look too yellow, I usually correct this with a color balance adjustment layer.



After FS, I used a curves adjustment layer to further fix the skin tone under the eyes. I lowered the blue and green channels, while very slightly lifting the overall RGB channel until it matched the rest of the skin tones.

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew


Now that you’ve completed the heavy lifting, the remaining steps are fairly simple. When I talk about “distracting elements,” this includes things like cleaning up stray eyebrow hairs, bloodshot eyes, etc. I also use this step to remove any single strands of hair that I find distracting. Keep in mind, this will be a very subjective step, as one photographer’s distracting element may not even register with another photographer. My favorite tool for this step is the healing brush (I will alternate between the healing brush and spot healing brush).



I create a dodge and burn layer to bring up the highlights on the hair, as well as brighten the eyes and teeth. My method typically involves way more dodging than burning, and I almost exclusively only dodge the highlights. When I do use the burn tool, it’s usually to darken the part in someone’s hair or darken their eyebrows slightly, in which case I burn the midtones. In order to keep this from going too far, I leave my exposure set at 10%.


Using individual curves adjustment layers, I was able to further adjust the chest, forehead, and under eye areas to even out the skin tones after FS

Retouching for Realistic and Natural-Looking Skin | Angela Marklew




Now that the skin has been perfected and all distracting elements removed, I move on to the final color pass. For me, this is a very simple step that involves increasing the contrast a bit (which will naturally add a bit of saturation), and sometimes adjusting the hue/saturation/lightness of the background.

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, I knew from an early age I wanted to be a scientist. Starting my career in environmental chemistry, I ultimately ended up working with explosives for the Canadian government. I quickly realized I was not built for a 9–5, so I sold my house, packed up my things and moved across the continent to try my hand at photography. website: instagram: @angelamarklew

The perfect trio of fast zooms designed

exclusively for full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras

17-28 mm F/2.8 Di III RXD [Model A046]

28-75 mm F/2.8 Di III RXD [Model A036]

70-180 mm F/2.8 Di III VXD [Model A056]


Product Spotlight | Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount


product spotlight

Why the Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount?

From travel and landscapes to portraits and everyday use, this new, innovative, all-in-one zoom lens from Tamron really does do it all. Aside from day-to-day portability, the 28-200mm F2.8-5.6’s lightweight and compact size make it especially convenient for travel photos, where users wish to avoid the burden of heavy baggage. The compact design measures 4.6 in and weighs just 20.3 oz., so it’s easy to carry anytime, anywhere.

Some of our favorite things about the Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount:

· Large maximum aperture of F2.8 at 28mm, and maximum apertures at intermediate zoom ranges are F3.5 at 50mm, F4.5 at 100mm, and F5.6 at 150mm through 200mm. · Close-up performance that’s astonishing for an all-in-one zoom lens: At 28mm, the MOD (Minimum Object Distance) is 7.5 in with a magnification ratio of 1:3.1; at 200mm the MOD is 31.5 in with a magnification ratio of 1:3.8. Capture stunning close-up images and leverage the bokeh utilizing a large F-number and enjoy unique close-ups that were not possible with all-in-one zoom lenses until now. · The RXD AF drive incorporates a sensor that accurately detects the position of the lens while the RXD motor unit delivers optimized AF control. This achieves very fast and accurate autofocus operation, allowing users to maintain tack-sharp focus on continuously moving subjects or when filming video. · $729 price point.

LEARN MORE . Click here or check us out at

For more information, visit

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

with Antwon Maxwell

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

So many elements and considerations go into the physical aspects of posing, from facial expression to the point of the toe. It’s all important, but that’s not what I am going to cover in this article. I won’t bore you with the usual posing tricks and principles taught in most basic photography blogs or tutorial videos on the internet. I want to talk about some not-so-obvious aspects to posing that every photographer should be aware of, but no one ever talks about. These will be the drivers and underlying factors as to how your subject will physically pose. The way your subject poses can mean the difference between your shoot being a huge success or a big flop. I’ve been shooting for eight years now. Over the years, I have seen a vast difference in the flow and success of a shoot based on how well the subject poses or how well I pose the subject. At the beginning of my photography journey, I mostly photographed everyday people. They always needed help with posing, and I would spend most of the shoot just getting them to feel comfortable in front of the camera. I did this for years before making the transition to where I am now. Now I shoot mostly models and celebrities, but even celebrities aren’t models and sometimes need help posing. Knowing how to direct your subject is a critical part of being a photographer at any level of your career. Most beginner photographers only look at the obvious physical and visual aspects of posing. Still, once your clientele elevates from everyday people to brands and businesses, your focus and eye for posing also have to elevate. There are three significant factors in posing that you may be overlooking but should absolutely pay close attention to: lighting, mood and purpose. Let’s get into it.


Lighting is everything! This is my absolute favorite subject to talk about because it makes such a huge difference in an image’s mood and feel. It also drastically affects how a model should pose. Tyra Banks from America’s Next Top Model always told the models, “Find your light!” This may seem obvious, but it won’t be to most people in front of your camera. I love shooting outside in hard light when the sun is high. Most people don’t like shooting at that time because it can create weird and unflattering shadows on the subject’s face. When shooting in this light, I direct the model to keep her head slightly up towards the sun. This small posing adjustment will be the difference between taking unflattering photos with weird shadows and taking amazing photos with very editorial lighting.

I even like to recreate that high noon, hard outdoor lighting in the studio. Just like when outside, I pay close attention to make sure the model keeps her head slightly up and finds her light. I directed the model to do very dynamic and editorial posing to go along with the hard, punchy lighting in this studio shoot. This is just another example of how lighting can inspire or dictate how the subject should pose.

In contrast, I love the way masculine subjects look in hard light even when their face is down or away. The deep shadows and contrast can create that rough and raw look most clients love for masculine shots.

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

Softer light is much easier for new or inexperienced models to pull off successfully. In this case, there is more room to play with posing and less room for error. This shot with soft lighting is of a new model on her very first photoshoot. I coached her to pose very delicately to complement the soft lighting. Her head’s slight turn away from the lighting also creates a beautiful dramatic shadow on her left side, making this image more interesting than if she were posed straight on into the light in front of her.


A model’s facial expression, posture and posing positions depend on the mood and feeling the client wants to portray through the photos. I never start a shoot without asking the client for a visual representation of what they want. Everyone on your team should be super clear on the mood of your shoot well before shoot day. This is accomplished using a mood board. There are many reasons to have a mood board for your shoots, but posing inspirations is definitely a big one. This gives the model and photographer a clear direction on posing. Should it be young and fun or serious and sexy? It also serves as an excellent reference in case the model runs out of poses while shooting.

On this page you can see campaign photos I took for two separate cosmetic brands. Their brand voice and target demographics are very different, so the models’ posing and mood are different. One brand is more fun and playful, while the other is more serious and lux. This was discussed ahead of time, so the models had plenty of time to practice their fake smiles in the mirror.

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

Here is another example of two fashion shoots meant to convey two very different moods. Even though both models are posing with their hands to their heads, their posture and body language are totally different, completely changing the mood of the photos.

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell


Your shoot’s purpose should always be at the forefront of your mind and the model’s mind while posing. If you are shooting a hair campaign, don’t allow the model to pose where her hands or arms cover most of her hair. If shooting for a clothing brand, the model should never pose in a way that drastically distorts or covers the clothing. Make sure whatever item or feature you are trying to highlight can be seen clearly without distraction. Here is an example of some content I shot for a swimwear brand. Here you can see one of the final images selected versus a behind-the-scenes photo that would never be chosen simply because her pose covers up most of the swimsuit.

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

If the shoot is for a fashion brand’s lookbook, the posing will be very different from the brand’s editorial magazine spread. Here you can see the difference in posing between these shots for a bridalwear brand. Both shoots are for the same brand, but the purpose of the photos is totally different. In the lookbook, the model is simply meant to be a beautiful hanger. The model is used to show off the details of the clothing, so her poses have to be conservative and minimal. The model in the editorial shot could be much more creative and abstract in her posing.

How to Pose Your Clients: Tips and Tricks No One Talks About | Antwon Maxwell

To bring my point home, I have one last image to share. It is a perfect example of how lighting, mood and purpose were all primary considerations for the posing. This photo was captured in-studio for a vegan lipstick brand. For this shoot, I did my signature hard lighting that mimics sunlight. I wanted the model to tilt her head up towards the light and pose with her arm creating a shadow across her face. The shoot’s mood was lux and elegant, so her facial expressions stayed soft and graceful the entire shoot. The photo’s purpose was to show off the lip color, so I ensured the model’s poses and shadows were not blocking or distracting from her lips. This pose also prevents the viewers from being distracted by her eyes and draws you right into her lips where the focus should be.

The next time you do a shoot, I hope you have these three elements in mind. This will help you shoot with purpose and undoubtedly take your work to the next level.

Antwon is a distinguished Washington D.C.-based beauty and fashion photographer. He had spent more than 12 years in the IT field before redirecting his creative talents toward photography. His work, primarily trademarked by its tastefully fascinating and meticulously detailed quality, continuously reflects his mellow approach balanced by his perfectionist nature. website: instagram: @antwonmaxwellphotography

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How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty

with Shannon K Dougherty

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty

Working from home has become the new normal for many of us in 2020. I’ve always loved the challenge of setting up a studio in a small space. Small spaces do not mean that your work or abilities will suffer. I’m a big believer that you can run a successful studio with just a small amount of gear and a whole lot of imagination!

When I first started shooting photography on a professional level I was lucky enough to have access to a fairly large studio that had everything you could want—honestly, probably the studio we all have in our dreams.

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty

Now fast forward a few years into my photography career and my own business where I didn’t have a separate studio that I rented. I had to ask myself the tough questions about what the next step would be on having a studio space. I decided what would be best for myself and my business is to run a studio out of my home. In fact, I’m very lucky to have amazing light and space in my kitchen, so that is where my studio is set up. At first I worried what others and clients might think. I can say confidently that this is just a roadblock I had in my own head. I’ve never had any clients upset about coming to my home for a photoshoot (most actually love it and get to meet my cat)!


Let’s get the money factor out of the way. Studio spaces cost money. Depending on what city you live in, this could be a huge extra expense that you may not be able to afford at this time. Having a home studio can be a huge benefit with saving money in mind. You might be saying to yourself now, “But, I don’t have a lot of space or an extra room. How can I run a studio?” I’m going to tell you that you don’t need a lot to create impactful and beautiful images for your clients.

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty


When I made the decision to shoot out of my home, I first had to decide where I would set up the studio. I also want to add that the space I use for my studio is only about 150–200 square feet. Not a lot of space! I’m a big believer in keeping it simple to start and then adding more as needed, especially with gear and props. If you are a portrait photographer, you really only need a few options for backdrops and maybe some lighting. As you get more comfortable with your small space, then you can add more options to change it up. This is important to keep in mind if you don’t have a lot of storage, too. Keep it simple and rent items for specific photoshoots when needed. Also, try to keep the space clean and tidy as much as you can. Small spaces can feel overwhelming very quickly when they are cluttered. It’s important to me that the space looks neat and tidy when my clients arrive.

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty


Just as I mentioned before, my studio is in my kitchen. This spot in my home spoke to me the most and it’s one of the reasons I chose the place I am living in now. I also use my own bedroom when doing some boudoir (being a neat freak like me helps to minimize extra clutter), but I mostly just stick with my regular studio space. I had to get creative and set up my studio where I knew I could comfortably photograph my clients. To keep everything in the same studio area, I often use my kitchen table as my office. I keep all hard drives labeled and organized so it’s easy to grab what I need.

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty


After I moved into my home, I really had to tap into my creativity and find my style in a new environment. There was something about having space restrictions that really helped motivate me to try new things with my brand. I fully encourage taking the time to experiment. I’m lucky to have high ceilings in my studio space, so I build more upward in the space I’m shooting clients. I love the look of showing the whole space in my sessions and often have more of a deconstructed look and show my backdrops in the final images. Adding this look to my sessions has added to the storytelling element. Something that is important to me no matter what is sticking to my signature style while also being creative in my studio space. I also cannot recommend enough to do a few test shoots in your space before you have paying clients come in. You’ll be more likely to know how to create in your small space and look like the confident photographer you are for your clients.

How to Create Impactful Portraits in a Small Studio Space | Shannon K Dougherty


Wall Color - One of the main issues I’ve run into with wall color is that it causes an odd color bounce onto my subject. This can be fixed in your post-production workflow or eliminated beforehand as much as possible. V-flats that are black on one side and white on the other are a huge help depending if I need to eliminate the color bounce from the wall with the black side or fill it more with the white side. Floors - Ugly or damaged floors can put a damper on a shot. I use either a second backdrop that I’ve laid on the ground or snap-together flooring that can be bought at a hardware store. Both options are portable for use in a different space if needed as well.

Low Ceiling - Having a low ceiling when trying to do overhead light can definitely cause issues if your subject is tall. If this is the case I will either move my lighting to more of an angle and have a v-flat on the opposite side to fill in shadows or I will simply just have my subject sit. In addition to having a chair, I will also have stools, a ladder or apple boxes for my subject to sit or lean on. Storage Space - This one was always the trickiest for me since I am naturally someone who likes things to be organized and out of the way. The items I use in my studio are labeled and tucked away in a corner. I also pick items that are multipurpose, such as furniture, and the client wardrobe I have is versatile for different shapes and sizes. I try to pull what I know I am going to use ahead of time before the client arrives so I’m not rearranging my neatly organized gear during their session. I’ve also invested in a chaise lounge for photoshoots that opens up for additional storage.

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